Publishing Workflow

From Joomla! Documentation

Other languages:
Deutsch • ‎Ελληνικά • ‎English • ‎français • ‎Nederlands


The Publishing Workflow component is used to replace static states (unpublished, published, trashed and archived) with a more generic approach. This way you can easily create a customized workflow to manage your articles within a component.

  • The article backend view in Joomla3.x:
Article view 3-en.png
  • The article backend view in Joomla 4.x:
Article view 4-en.png

The article tool range is now smaller and the view generally more tidy. You can create customized states for the articles and group them in categories.

There is a tutorial page containing steps for the creation of your first workflow: Scenarios.
You can find more information about the implementation of the component in other areas on the page of the Google Summer of Code project DOC: Publishing Workflow Implementation

Terms & Definitions

  • Workflows: You can create several workflows. Each workflow contains states, possible transitions and item conditions.
  • States: States can be regarded as steps within a workflow.
  • Conditions: The condition of an item can be unpublished, published, trashed or archived.
  • Transitions: Transitions set the sequence of states an article has to pass.
  • Categories: Articles can be assigned to categories.

Usage of the toolbar

In the toolbar you find several buttons. You can select an item via the checkbox at the left of the title. At least one item must be selected to complete one of the following actions:

  • Publish or unpublish items
  • Set an item to default
  • Item Check-In
    • While a user is editing an item, the items edit functionality will be locked for other users during that period of time. The check-in function unlocks the item. Please keep in mind: Make sure that the edit process has been completed and saved before you unlock the item. Otherwise previously made changes could be lost.
  • Trash Items
    • Please keep in mind: Through the usage of the trash button you are only moving items to trash. This means the items status is being set to "trashed". In order to delete an item completely, you have to use the search tools and filter for the status "trashed". In the displayed list of items, select the item you wish to be permanently deleted and click the trash button again.


The workflow resembles a sequence of steps. It can be accessed via the main top menu under "Content". You will be directed to the "Workflows List", an overview of all your existing workflows. A workflow contains several states of different conditions. Items (e.g. articles) can transit through those states.

Workflows List
  • You see the status of the workflow (published / unpublished)
  • Next to the status is the title. By clicking on the title you can edit the workflow
    • Editable: Title | Description | Status | Default Option | Permissions (Rights Management)
  • Next to the title you find the option to Manage the workflow states (for more info see States)
  • Next to the "States" is the default option
  • You find a yellow circle icon, next to "default", representing the number of existing states in this workflow
  • Next to the yellow circle is a blue arrow icon that represents the number of existing transitions in this workflow (for more info see Transitions)
  • Furthermore you see the date the workflow was created, the author and an ID.


The states can be accessed through the "Workflows List" container via clicking on Manage states. You can set a default state (which must be of the condition "published"). When clicking on the title, you can Edit the state.

Workflows List
Edit State
  • In the second picture you find a status option to the right. This is the condition of the state.
  • To the left there is a "Condition of items in this State" dropdown. This concerns the status of the items (e.g. articles) which are currently in this state.
    • Example: A possible sequence of states would be: Unpublished    In Review   Published.


Articles can transit from one state to another. The transitions can be managed through the "Workflows List" container via clicking on the blue arrow icon or via the menu on the left, after clicking on Manage states. You can set several transitions that items can go through. The possible states are based on the ones you have created for this specific workflow.

Edit Transition
  • Example: In the transition "Next Step: Publishing" items are originally of the state "unpublished". They are, for example, in need of a review. After they have been reviewed, they can transit to the state "published".


Articles can be assigned to categories. They correspond to a certain workflow and can be customized in various ways. You can set a status, parent category and also restrict the access as well as the permissions.

  • Example: You have certain articles that you want to be available only for administrators or users of a higher rank. You can call your category "Restricted" and set all permissions on "Allowed" for administrators or higher. This way you do not have to set those permissions for every article concerned but can move them into this special category and save time instead.

Related Information

See also: